The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring D.E. Haggerty

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Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I write the stories I want to write. I don’t like the idea of writing in a particular genre or for a particular audience because those genres are popular or a certain audience reads more. Sure, I like to earn money from my writing (and would LOVE to earn way more than I do now), but writing is about more than money. It’s a craft, and it has to come from the heart.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

If you want to succeed, you have to be behind yourself 100%. I think most writers doubt themselves and their writing. Of course, we do! We’re a sensitive lot – us writers. But you need to go for it if you want to succeed and not hold back because you’re insecure.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

6433752This is a difficult question. What to choose? I totally cheated and went to Goodreads to see which novels I’ve given five stars but have low overall ratings. I was shocked to see how many people didn’t enjoy The Lacuna from Barbara Kingsolver. I shouldn’t be surprised. My book club – which I forced to read the book – didn’t like it either. I loved it. The vibrancy of Mexico, intermixed with history, and an interesting story – all written by an excellent author. What’s not to love?

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Oh gosh, I can’t believe there are authors who don’t read the reviews of their books. How do they stand it? I’m way too curious. Good ones are cause for celebration. Bad reviews? If it’s a critical review, I try to learn from it. The one thing I don’t do is respond to the reviewer. That path leads to destruction (and tequila shots, but that’s another story).

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Not really. There are little clues here and there, but I want readers to find them. I want them to be mislead or confused about whodunit.

Do you Google yourself?

I’m starting to understand why curiosity killed the cat. I’m too curious not to google myself.

What is your favorite childhood book?

48811I don’t really know if this counts as a childhood book, but I was absolutely addicted to Nancy Drew Mysteries as a child. I loved the idea of this punky teenager running off solving mysteries with no fear (but always wearing gloves!). Man, I wish I could be her.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I probably should have paid more attention in English class. I had to play catch up with English grammar in college. I could have read more English literature as well. I don’t think my obsession with dead Russian authors has helped much with my writing.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

My murder/mysteries and romantic comedies usually take about four months to write. My historical novels take a few months longer. Although both of those estimations change based on how busy the rest of my life is. How dare life get in the way of writing? It dares. Trust me. It does.

About D.E. Haggerty:

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Finders, Not Keepers is my thirteenth novel.

Connect with D.E. Haggerty:

Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com

Blog: https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/category/mymusings/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dehaggerty

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dehaggerty

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dehaggerty/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/

Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/bbmdj9

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DEHaggerty/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/

Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/d-e-haggerty

Email: dena@dehaggerty.com

D.E. Haggerty’s Book:

FNK4Blurb:

What do you do with a diamond no one wants? You can’t keep it. Or can you?

While cleaning her ex-husband’s effects out of the attic, Terri finds an exquisite diamond pendant necklace. She’s determined to return the necklace to its proper owner, but the owner was brutally killed, a murder which remains unsolved, and her heirs want nothing to do with the diamond. Terri embarks upon a journey researching charities to which she can donate the diamond. When her research becomes dangerous, Terri contemplates solving the murder herself. Her best friend, Melanie, jumps feet first into investigating the murder, but her neighbor, Ryder, doesn’t want Terri exposed to any danger. Ryder, to Terri’s surprise, also wants to be more than neighbors with Terri. Luckily, he’s prepared to take any measure necessary to keep her safe because someone is determined to stop her inquiries.

Join Terri on her quest to find a home for the diamond, which may result in the unveiling of a murderer – if she survives long enough.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Finders-Keepers-Reluctant-Detectives-Book-ebook/dp/B07DSWRXMM/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/842204

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finders-not-keepers-de-haggerty/1128930568?

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/finders-not-keepers

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40545654-finders-not-keepers

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finders-not-keepers/id1407230191?mt=11

Excerpt:

“How are we going to solve the murder if we don’t even know where it happened?”

“We are not solving the murder! How many times do I have to explain myself? I’m only trying to honor Jessica’s last wishes by finding somewhere to donate the necklace in her memory.”

“We are totally solving this murder.”

“Did you not read the part where she was shot to death! And the police have no fricking idea what happened?”

Melanie shrugged as if she knew people who were shot to death all the time. “We’ll be fine.”

“We? We are not doing anything. I’m the one who is doing this. We are not doing anything.”

“Fine. Fine. So, Ms. Patterson, what are you going to do next, hmm?” She raised an eyebrow, crossed her arms over her chest, and leaned back in her chair.

“I’m not sure.” Terri tapped her fingers on the table. There was a long pause before she suddenly sat up straight. “Where did the obit say donations were to be sent?”

Melissa pulled the obit up on her tablet. “Westside Soup Kitchen.”

“That’s it!” She snapped her fingers. “I’ve volunteered at that soup kitchen several times. I’ll just go check it out. See if they are a good candidate for receiving the necklace.”

“You volunteered at the same soup kitchen as Jessica? Maybe you met her and don’t remember?”

“No.” Terri shook her head. “I saw a picture of her at the Collins’ house. There’s no way I would have forgotten meeting her.”

“Maybe some of the other volunteers or even the homeless people will remember Jessica. You could ask them about her.”

“Stop trying to solve the murder!”

Melanie readily agreed she wouldn’t get involved in investigating the murder, but Terri knew better than to believe her.

 

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The 2018 Interview Series with Author Tristan Drue Rogers

This week Author and Blogger Tristan Drue Rogers is featured in my 2018 Author interview series.

Please check out the interview where you can learn about Tristan’s book and what motivates his writing.

Please enjoy meeting and learning about Tristan Drue Rogers.


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Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Originality has always been an out of reach mistress for me. I’ve always chased it, especially in my much younger years, and if those tales ever get released, you’ll know what I mean. Although, I will confess that as I’ve aged, I have learned to write stories that entertain myself. One can get easily bored if their single goal is originality. To what end will you take it? Will it still resonate? Will your story simply be described as quirky? How in the hell does it all work? These are things that will never stop bouncing around and battling each other in your mind. Shall I be a unique snowflake or do I want to make money? Will I ever make money as a writer? The answer to my latter questions are a resounding no.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I’d tell him to keep reading, put down everything, ignore your friends, don’t go out so much, never listen to anyone, but pay attention, fall in love more, back down a bit more, stand up for yourself, write for the sake of writing, continuously explore new music and go to as many shows as possible, listen to people when they speak, even listen to their silence, dance more, lose yourself, and never forget that the world may be hard, unwavering, and terrible to so many different types of people, that even as you witness it, never be an observer. If you see something wrong, act. Actions, weather this is cliché or not, do speak louder than words. Be creative with interpreting that, too.

What’s your favorite underappreciated novel?

That is not an easy question to answer. Shoot. Black Wings Has My Angel, maybe. That is a significantly tough question. Is Threats by Amelia Gray underappreciated? We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Another good one is The Love Song of Johnny Valentine by Teddy Wayne.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

As I have yet to receive a review of any of my stories, let alone my novel, Brothers of Blood, I’m not sure how I’ll react to both good or bad. I can say that I will read any at this point and that good or bad I will likely receive them poorly.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Shh. No, I do, but hopefully not in a way that is too distracting. Brothers of Blood has a few names, characters, locations, and situations from my childhood that only a small, unfortunate few will ever discover if they read the book. I have failed as a writer, in my opinion, if the average reader sees those tidbits and becomes stuck. They’re just fun things that if I took them out of the book, they wouldn’t change anything. I think.

Do you Google yourself?

Many times. I’m shameless about it.

What is your favorite childhood book?

kidbookChildren’s books have a special place in my heart, even today while I reach 30 years old. I love Dr. Seuss immensely. The Hobbit is great. I love the Jungle Books. My favorite anything ever has to be Calvin and Hobbes. But the one kiddie book that sticks with me is Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, which I reference in Brothers of Blood.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I’d certainly convince my mother to move to Texas sooner, perhaps I would have met my wife earlier, and my muse would have presented me with far more beautiful writing and even had helped me escape my mushy, horrible poetry phase quicker as I would have surely spent an insurmountable amount of time letting her know that her eyes are like the exploding sun, swallowing a far away Galaxy, deep within the eyes of a crying angel, yet unknown to man, but written upon a sheet of basic notebook paper by the one boy inquisitive enough to describe it. Her eye roles would have certainly saved me a to least a few years of that rubbish.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

So I’ve written one book to completion. I currently have three in the works with no sign of finishing any time soon.

With Brothers of Blood, it took about one year to write my first draft. About a year and a half to finish the second draft with edits. I took a year off for tomfoolery. Later, a few more weeks of edits. And then the next couple of years to have a publisher finally accept it, leading to publication. I know the next book will lead into a completely different journey as will the one after that. Expect the unexpected. Sit down and write. If you don’t or won’t, then you damn well mustn’t ever call yourself a writer again. Save yourself the misery.

About Tristan:

Tristan Drue Rogers continues to spell his middle name wrong in spite of it appearing that way on his birth certificate. He is a husband and an author. A self-described “ever-student,” Tristan prefers to learn as opposed to master, disbelieving in absolutes. His stories, especially his characters, represent this ideology well, with a keen commentary on the lives of people today, he attempts to bridge the old with the new, the fantasy with reality, the anxiety with heroism, and the horror with beauty. Deepening wounds and reevaluating their power is the name of the game, so if you see him in public, be prepared for a smile surrounded by a bashful face. He’ll appreciate you all the same.  His recently released novel Brothers of Blood is available anywhere books are sold.

About Tristan’s Book:

Screenshot_20180329-220720~2Brothers of Blood follows Belle Whynecrow in her final year of highschool. Her best friends Josue, Xavier, and Jesus the hobo welcome the new kid, Chris, with welcome arms. The only catch? To quell their boredom, Belle asks all to create a kill list that they’ll trade, marking off the names as they complete their goal before senior year ends. While struggling to pass their classes with flying colors, this band of merry murderers seems to be on a delightfully bloody roll until Belle’s long imprisoned older brother, Beau, arrives at her doorstep. Now a devout man of God, the brotherhood schemes for his return to his original, and highly exaggerated, bloodlust. That is, if Chris’s jelousy doesn’t destroy Belle’s ranking in the gang first. Not everyone will survive, but those who do will certainly have a year to remember because those that kill together live forever.

Find Tristan’s Book:

Brothers of Blood is now available on Amazon Kindle as well as paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and anywhere books are sold.

Amazon links here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1684330483/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_w.SWAbACZ8136

To purchase directly from the publisher Black Rose Writing

Https://www.blackrosewriting.com/literary/brothersofblood

Connect with Tristan:

Instagram

Https://www.instagram.com/tristramduke

Facebook

Https://www.facebook.com/bellewhynecrow

My personal blog

Https://www.tristandrue.wordpress.com

The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Susan Rovens

This week, I’m happy to interview author and blogger Susan Rovens.


author picDo you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

It’s too difficult to “know” what readers want since every person is different. People’s circumstances and preferences are always changing, so what they like one year may be completely the opposite the next year. So, with that being the case, I write what I deem original and hope that it finds an audience.

 What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

boBurnt Offerings by Robert Marasco

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I don’t have that many reviews to read! LOL! (I need more reviews, folks!) No, I welcome any honest review – good OR bad. I know my work is not for everyone, so there will always be those that don’t care for what I’ve written. However, if someone does not like one of my books, it would be helpful to know why (and not just say ‘this sucks’…)

Of course, if someone likes my work, I certainly enjoy knowing that and reading what they say in a review. Who doesn’t?

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I don’t know if you’d call it secrets, but I do give many of my characters some traits of people I know. Once in a while, I’ll put in a name or place that means something, but it’s not really a secret or an Easter egg.

Do you Google yourself?

I do. BUT…

As an indie, non-famous author, I also have to be a PR person, a marketer, and a social media ‘coordinator’. So, sometimes I do have to poke around the internet to see where my stuff is showing up (and where it’s not), what folks are saying (or not saying), and see where I’m making any kind of splash (or in my case, a drip).

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Read more.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

On average? I’d say about two years. I work full-time, do all the household stuff everyone else does, run, lift weights, blog… So, yeah, it takes some time.

Sue’s Books:

Boook Cover

https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Rovens/e/B009PCPQUS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Connect with Sue:

My blog/website: https://suerovens.com/

My email: srovens@yahoo.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SueRovens?lang=en

About Sue:

Sue Rovens is a suspense/psychological-horror indie author who is an active member of the Chicago Writers Association. She has produced two novels, Badfish and Track 9, and two short story collections, In a Corner, Darkly: Volumes 1 and 2 (think Twilight Zone kicked up a notch), all of which are available on Amazon.

A third novel, Buried, is being Beta-read now and the hope is to have it available to the public sometime in 2019.

Sue also runs a blog: suerovens.com. A portion of the site is dedicated to interviews with authors from a variety of genres and professional levels in a Meet & Greet Section. The site is quite active and new content is being added weekly.

When not writing, Sue watches movies, reads, lifts weights, plays with Noodle and Monkey (2 adorable kitties) and enjoys the occasional piece of cheese. She also runs, slowly…geese have been known to out-lap her.

More information about Sue, her books, events, and lots of other information can be found at
https://suerovens.com/.

 

The 2018 Interview Series featuring Staci Troilo

This week, I am very pleased to feature an interview with author and blogger Staci Troilo.

Staci is a very supportive blogger and an excellent author. I hope you enjoy learning more about her in this week’s interview.

If you are an author, and would like to be featured in my interview series, I have spots open beginning in mid-October. Please email me at don@donmassenzio.com and you can join the >200 authors that have been featured this far in my author directory.

Now, please enjoy this week’s interview with Staci Troilo:


Troilo Color Photo RT smallerDo you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I know there are a lot of people who write to market. I’m not good at that. LitRPG is huge right now, and I don’t know enough about it to do the genre justice. Nor do I have the time to try. I believe the adage that every story has been told before, but it’s up to the writer to find a fresh take. So, in that sense, I think all writers try to be original. But basically, I write the stories that interest me from the ideas that grab me by the throat and won’t let go. Hopefully those things are original enough and interesting enough that readers want to read them as much as I want to write them.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Embrace marketing. Gone are the days where writers wrote and nothing else. We can’t be reclusive anymore. We need social media and speaking platforms. Sometimes I regret taking time for these things because they take time away from writing. But if we aren’t making an effort to interact with our readers, we won’t have any.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Depositphotos_134263598_xl-2015Anything with the word “favorite” in it makes me nervous. How to pick one of anything when there are so many choices out there? My list is long and varied, mostly with indie authors and authors with smaller presses, and you can find my reviews of many of them on my blog. (I don’t want to state any by name because I’m sure I’ll forget some and I don’t want to hurt people because I excluded them.)

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I do read them, though not as often as I used to. The good ones always warm my heart and reaffirm my decision to be a writer. The bad ones I carefully consider. Are the comments opinion or fact? If fact (for example, typos), I act the publisher to make changes. If opinion, I consider them. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t. The ones I agree with I take seriously and make an effort to improve in future works (if possible, I’ll ask the publisher to revise those, too). The ones I don’t agree with I try to forget.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I do. Mostly names (first or last, but never both together) of people I love to give them a little bit of immortality. The other things people would easily recognize, like places I’ve been or recipes I’ve made, so they’re not really “secrets” so much as me showing my appreciation of those things.

Do you Google yourself?

Occasionally I search for my name online. I want to be sure nothing negative comes up that would affect my brand. (Not that I do anything scandalous that would.) I usually find only my work and my social media posts there, but occasionally I find pirated copies of my stories. I used to be vigilant about requesting their removal from those sites, but I never had much success with that and I have neither the time nor the resources to sue all of those people. It’s a shame artists are being taken advantage of like that, though.

What is your favorite childhood book?

There’s that F-word again. I had a lot of favorites, and they changed with my age. Some, and I stress some, included The Poky Little Puppy, The Little Red Hen, Fox in Socks, The Velveteen Rabbit, nursery rhyme books, fairytales, Caddie Woodlawn, and the Trixie Belden books. (I read a lot.)

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I wouldn’t major in writing in college. Sounds counter-productive, I know. But writing was always a strength of mine. I think with a little extra effort (and joining a critique group sooner), I would have learned the finer points of fiction writing without college classes. If I’d majored in one of my other interests instead (archaeology, architecture, medicine, law), I’d have much less research to do when I write my stories. I’m blessed that I have family members in many of my fields of interest, though, so what might require hours of legwork can be handled with a quick phone call or email.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

In the last year or so, I’ve really amped up my writing speed. Now I average five thousand words a day. I’ve written over ten thousand when necessary to meet deadlines or when I really hit my groove. So I’m at the point now where, if I’m not editing for clients or working on marketing, I can complete a first draft in under a month (writing five days a week).

Staci’s Latest Book – Tortured Soul

TS cover

Protection is safety. Until it stifles.

After months of clandestine battles, the Brothers of the Medici Protectorate finally know who is responsible for the assassination attempts on the Notaro family, the secret descendants of the Medici line. And they’ve never faced such a formidable foe.

Roberto Cozza–Coz–faces this new reality with surprising pragmatism. His powers may make the difference in winning their covert war–if only he can master them in time. It would just be so much easier if he could get his emotions under control, but neither his Brothers nor their charges are making things easy on him.

Toni Notaro appreciates the security provided by the Brothers, but she knows she has her own role to play–and it terrifies her. She is the missing link in Coz mastering his emerging abilities, yet she struggles to bridge the gap between what he needs and what she can offer.

As the Brotherhood hurtles inexorably toward the climactic final showdown, Coz and Toni must find the strength within themselves and each other to master the secrets of his powers, or risk death and defeat for all they hold dear.

Universal Purchase Link

Staci’s Bio and Links:

Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Web | Blog | Tortured Soul Info | Medici Protectorate Info | Amazon Page | BookBub | Goodreads | TwitterOther Social Media Links

 

The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Thom Reese

This week’s author interview features author Thom Reese.

On a side note, though the initial response was gratifying, I find myself running out of interview subjects by  the end of September. If you haven’t been interviewed, or even if you have and you have a new release coming out, please feel free to contact me to be interviewed at don@donmassenzio.com. I will send you the information and get you scheduled.

You can check out the 210 author interviews I’ve conducted thus far on my Author Directory page HERE.

Now, let’s meet Thom Reese.


Thom Headshot

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Wow. Interesting question. I try to write what I would enjoy reading with the assumption – hope – that others will enjoy the same type of stories. I do try to be original in my concepts while still brining an element of familiarity to my work. I’m currently working on the final book in a Dracula series and obviously that concept is not original to me, though I do try to bring some of my own ideas and interpretations to the project. My novel The Empty is the one with a concept that I feel is most original to me.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I wish I had become serious about my writing a couple of decades earlier. It was a different publishing environment then and I think it would have been a better fit for me.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Wow. So many to pick from! It’s hard to call any Stephen King novel under-appreciated, but 11-22-63 has flown pretty much under the radar and that’s an amazing novel, one of his best really. But let’s go with a lesser known author. Already Dead by Charlie Huston is a fun quirky vampire novel that no one seems to know about.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read them. Most are good, so that’s a plus. But the occasional negative review is part of the deal. Whenever an author releases work to the public, there’s the risk – or even expectation – that it won’t be well received by everyone. It’s never fun. It stings, but I try to set it aside and look forward.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Not as a rule. I might have thrown in a phrase or two that are a bit of an inside joke, but I really don’t look to do that much. My goal is more to get into the reality that I’ve created and not to give cause for the reader to break with that reality.

Do you Google yourself?

Not often. But yes.

What is your favorite childhood book?

From my own childhood, probably Charlotte’s Web. Or, weirdly enough, Jane Goodall’s In the Shadow of Man. As far as more recent children’s books, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is a true gem.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Get focused. I had my hands in far too many things. And maybe that was part of the process in determining that I wanted to write. But I wish I had just gone after it much sooner.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

In most cases it’s about a six month process, but it does vary considerably.

About Thom:

Thom Reese is the author of the novels, THE INFUSION OF ARCHIE LAMBERT, A SAVAGE DISTANCE, THE DRACULA JOURNALS: DARK DECADE, THE DRACULA JOURNALS: RAVAGED SOULS, THE DEMON BAQASH, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY, along with the short story collection, 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER & MADNESS. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATRE. Several of Thom’s audio dramas have been published on CD and MP3 formats. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home with his wife in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Buy Thom’s Books:

Link to my author page with my publisher with links to purchase my books: Authors – Thom Reese – Page 1 – Speaking Volumes

Connect with Thom:

Link to Facebook: Thom Reese (Author)

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Tom Gould

This week’s author interview features author Tom Gould.

On a side note, though the initial response was gratifying, I find myself running out of interview subjects by  the end of September. If you haven’t been interviewed, or even if you have and you have a new release coming out, please feel free to contact me to be interviewed at don@donmassenzio.com. I will send you the information and get you scheduled.

You can check out the 210 author interviews I’ve conducted thus far on my Author Directory page HERE.

Now, let’s meet Tom Gould.


Tom Gould

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to do a bit of both. I prefer to write for myself first and foremost and worry about what people think about it later.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Be prepared for a lot of hard and unrewarded work for many years. But always keep writing as sometimes you can get recognition along the way and when you e-publish it is a really good feeling.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

tmonThe Meaning of Night: A confession by Michael Cox. It is absolutely superb

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Disappointingly I haven’t received any yet so I am hoping that this may reverse that trend.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

No not really I think that everyone should be allowed to interpret stories however they wish to.

Do you Google yourself?

No

What is your favorite childhood book?

tssThe Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Write more of the kind of stories that I do now.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Two months to write the first draft and then ages to polish it.

Find Tom’s Book:

The Hartnetts

Click HERE.

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Victoria Zigler

This week’s author interview features UK author, Victoria Zigler.

On a side note, though the initial response was gratifying, I find myself running out of interview subjects by mid-September. If you haven’t been interviewed, or even if you have and you have a new release coming out, please feel free to contact me to be interviewed at don@donmassenzio.com. I will send you the information and get you scheduled.

You can check out the 210 author interviews I’ve conducted thus far on my Author Directory page HERE.

Now, let’s meet Victoria Zigler.


Tori - September 2015

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I don’t really intentionally set out to do either, though I’d say I’m more likely to try to be original than to try and give readers what they want.

I obviously hope my stories and poems are what readers want, because then they’ll buy them, read them, and – if I’m really lucky – enjoy them enough to tell their friends and family about them. But I write what I want/need to write.

I don’t base my writing projects around what topics and themes are popular right now, or worry about writing in a genre that generally sells best.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I’d tell little me not to throw any stories or poems away, and to put them all somewhere safe. Preferably somewhere safe enough that I could have access to them now, but not so safe they couldn’t be found again.

I had access to some of my old pieces of writing, but a lot more wasn’t kept safe, so is lost forever. This makes me a little sad. Even if some of it may not have been able to be used, I may have been able to use parts of it, or do what I did with the stuff I did have, and revise it so it did work.

For example, ‘Isabelle’s Runaway Racehorse’ is based on a story called ‘Running Away’ that I had a copy of from when I was ten. The original version was good for a child, but not great. So I revised it, published it, and have had some positive feedback from it.

I did something similar with what I had of my old poems, which you can find among the first four poetry collections I published (along with a couple of newer ones I slipped in among the old stuff). 

 

It makes me wonder how many more stories and poems with potential I might have had to work with had I been more careful with my pieces of creative writing when I was younger.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

This is a tricky one, since I’m not very good at picking a favorite for most things. But, as it happens, I read a list called ’27 under-appreciated books that everyone should read’ recently, and there were two on it I’d read and enjoyed, so I guess I’m going to have to go with those books.

One was ‘The Wasp Factory’ by Iain Banks, and the other was ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The latter is one I especially enjoyed, and would be the one I’d pick as my favorite of the two if you really insist I must choose just one book.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I don’t intentionally go looking for reviews of my books, unless I’ve given a review copy to someone and they said their review was up for me to read. But I read any I see.

Regardless of whether they’re good or bad, I ‘like’ them if they’re on Goodreads, thank the person if I’ve been in direct contact with them beforehand, but otherwise don’t interact with them. I also check all reviews – good or bad – for anything I can use to improve my writing later.

Plus, I’ll either excitedly or sulkily – depending on if the review is good or bad – tell my hubby and Mam about the review. If it’s a particularly fantastic one, or a particularly bad one, I’ll also tell some of my other family members or friends.

That’s about it. Well, other than the fact I might have a bit of a sulk if the review is a bad one. I keep my sulking private though (as in, I don’t post about it on my blog and social media). I might buy myself something if I’m feeling really bad about the review too… Just to make me feel better, because everyone loves presents!

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

No. Not intentionally. If I put something in my stories intentionally, I admit to doing so. Once I’ve told everyone about it, it’s no longer a secret, is it?

Do you Google yourself?

No. At least, not these days. I Googled myself a lot when I first started publishing my books, but got bored of doing it after a while.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I’ve always had a lot of favourite books, because I’ve always loved to read. But my main favourites were ‘A Little Princess’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl, along with anything by Bonnie Bryant, Enid Blyton, Hans Christian Anderson, and Monica Dickens, among others. I still love those books today, especially ‘A Little Princess’ (I love the movies for that one too).

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Try harder with spelling. Seriously, my spelling sucks! You’d think I’d be great at it since I’ve spent more of my life either reading or writing than doing anything else. I even read a dictionary. Yet, though my spelling is much improved these days, I still struggle with it sometimes, and spend more time than I really should needing to look up how to spell things.

The whole American vs. English spelling thing confuses me sometimes. But that’s not the real issue. Nor can I place the blame on the confusion caused by my early education being mainly in Welsh, where you can always figure out how to spell a word, as long as you can say it, just by sounding it out – not always the case in English – as much as I’d like to blame that. The real problem is that I relied too heavily on the spellchecker option of the computer I was given to do my schoolwork on due to my poor eyesight making it impossible for teachers to read my handwriting. I mean, why worry how things are spelled when the computer can figure it out for you, and all it takes is a few taps of certain keys, right?

Let that be a warning to those reading this that have children: don’t let them rely on technology for all their schoolwork, especially when it comes to learning spelling. They might hate you for it now, but make them learn those spelling lists, because they’ll benefit from it later.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

How long’s a piece of string?

How long it takes me to write a book depends on several things, including – but not limited to – whether it’s a story or a poetry collection, the length of it, whether it’s my main writing project or one of my side projects, how well the words are flowing, how much research is required, and what else is going on in my life that might reduce my writing time. That’s just the considerations for the first draft. Once you get in to revisions, and all the things involved in getting it ready for publication, you have a whole bunch of other things to consider. But I won’t go in to those.

For the first couple of years I was publishing, I was able to publish an average of a book a month. But this was mainly because I had a production line of various books in various stages of being done, some of them old stories and poems I was just revising, which were published in the gaps between newer works.

I don’t have any old stuff to fall back on now, but I’m still not really sure how to answer the question about how long it takes me to write a book. I’ve had times where I can sit down and have a first draft written in just a few hours, and times when it’s taken me months and months just to get a rough draft written. Then there are the poems, where I will sometimes write several in one day, and other times go weeks without writing a single poem.

For example, I have a story I say was both the easiest and most difficult to write. Easiest because I knew so clearly what I wanted to say that it was written, revised, edited, formatted, and published, within a month. Most difficult, because it’s the final book in my ‘Kero’s World’ series, and is my goodbye to my beloved dog, so I spent the entire time I was working on it in tears. It was also my main focus during that time. Every other project was put on hold until it was done.

At the other end of the scale, I’ve got another writing project that’s taken longer already than any of my other books have taken me in the past. I started working on the pirate adventure story I’m currently writing last year some time, and I’m still not even close to being done. Partially because it’s one of my longer books, partially because it requires me to do a bit more research than most of my previous books have required (and I get distracted by shiny new knowledge) and partially because I’ve been dealing with other things – writing related and otherwise – while working on it. I mean, I’ve published four other books I accidentally ended up working on instead since I started working on this one, got a large chunk of my backlist available in audio, and spent some time in hospital too.

Book blurb:

“Noodles is a strange red creature with a squeaker in his tummy, who just happens to be the favourite toy of a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie. At least, he is now, since the bushytailed squirrel and cuddly triceratops fell apart while she was playing with them – totally not her fault, by the way!

Now noodles is missing.

Lilie’s sure she left Noodles on the living room floor when she went walkies. But when she comes home and goes to fetch him so they can have a nap together, Noodles isn’t there.

Where’s Noodles? Is he somewhere else, or is he lost forever?”

Available in multiple eBook formats, with paperback and audio versions planned for the near future.

Find Victoria’s Book:

Where's Noodles Cover 1- 1600x2400Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/880958

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wheres-noodles-victoria-zigler/1129141679

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wheres-noodles/id1415553711

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/where-s-noodles

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40890298-where-s-noodles

About Victoria:

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK, with her hubby and furkids. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world. She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time.

To date, Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future. She makes her books available in multiple eBook formats, as well as in both paperback and audio. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, which is available in eBook only.

Connect with Victoria:

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk

Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz

Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler

Google+: https://plus.google.com/106139346484856942827